Coffee and Contemplation: Yule/Yuletide

December 21 is the first day of Winter or the Winter Solstice. This is also celebrated as Yule. Yule is the final celebration for the Wheel of the Year and the cycle ends and begins again. This is also when the Holly King is celebrated during the peak of his power and reign over half the year. He will lose the battle to the Oak King who reigns over the other half of the year in the Spring. Yule celebrations involve bonfires, decorating with holly, mistletoe and the boughs of evergreen trees, ritual sacrifices, feasts, and gift-giving. I don’t recommend you participate in the sacrifices because I don’t recommend killing anything.

Many of the traditions of Yule were carried over into Christmas celebrations. The midwinter feast usually lasted 12 days (the 12 days of Christmas). Vikings decorated evergreen trees with gifts, food, and carvings (Christmas tree). In Norse tradition, Old Man Winter visited homes to join the festivities. Odin was described as a wanderer with a long white beard and is considered the first Father Christmas. These are a few examples and chances are many of you already celebrate Yule believing it’s Christmas. I think it’s time for the world to admit that Christmas has never been about Jesus. Also, let’s just call it Yule from now on.

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